R.I.S.E. Press Release:
R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment
For Immediate Release
R.I.S.E. Congratulates the Phenomenal and Empowering Work of Three R.I.S.E. Artist + Poet 2018 Fellowship Recipients.
Portland, Oregon: For its inaugural fellowship, R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment is honored to celebrate the critical work of three Indigenous Queer, Gender Gradient/Non- Conforming, Trans, and/or Two-Spirit artists and poets challenging contemporary ideas of Indigeneity and Queerness through the fields of poetry and artistic practice. The award of a $1,000 unrestricted Artist Fellowship is presented to R.I.S.E. Fellowship lead recipient artist Katherine Paul / Black Belt Eagle Scout (Swinomish Indian Tribal Community / Iñupiat NANA Shareholder), and thanks to a generous donation, R.I.S.E. is also able to offer two additional $500 fellowships recognizing the dynamic work of Whess Harman (Lake Babine Nation) and fabian romero (Purepecha).
An artistic panel of three Indigenous artists and organizers gathered to carefully select the 2018 Fellows, facilitated by R.I.S.E. founder/director Demian DinéYazhi to support artists and poets whose work shows strength and great potential in disruptings settler colonial, heteropatriarchal ideals prevalent in contemporary Indigenous art and culture. Serving on the artistic panel were: Hank Cooper (Arts Program Manager at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center), Kevin Holden (artist and co-director of LOCUSTS zine), and Ginger Dunnill (founder of Broken Boxes Podcast, founding member of Winter Count Collective, and Indigenous Goddess Gang and Dear Patriarchy contributor). On behalf of the judges, R.I.S.E. congratulates the rigorous, crucial, and compelling work of the R.I.S.E. Fellowship Recipients who exemplified all the criteria and objectives highlighted in the Fellowship. R.I.S.E. would like to thank the all the applicants who applied to this year's Fellowship and additionally honor all the time and energy put into their application, but more importantly the passion and dedication each artist and poet brings to their art and community. We would like to also address three honorable mentions for this year's cycle: Cleo Keahna (White Earth Ojibwe, Meskwaki, Blackfeet, Sioux), AuMAR (Edo (Nigeria) & Bassa (Cameroun)), and Dåkot-ta Alcantara-Camacho (Matao). We encourage all applicants to apply to next year's Fellowship and invite you to join us in celebrating this year's Fellows and the numerous applicants whose work is equally empowering and of critical importance!
R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment is an Indigenous initiative dedicated to Indigenous issues: Decolonization, Survivance, sovereignty, prison abolition, dismantling white supremacy and heteropatriarchy, supporting the evolution of Indigenous cultures and traditions, and amplifying the voices of Queer, Trans, Gender Gradient/Non-Conforming, Two Spirit, and Matriarchal communities.
R.I.S.E. fosters community through the reclamation of identity, creating awareness as an act of resistance, and by continually supporting Indigenous communities. R.I.S.E. is a collective presence of Indigenous ancestors. R.I.S.E. is a collective resistance created, nurtured, and led by Indigenous peoples.
@RISEindigenous | www.burymyart.tumblr.com
My performance art, poetry and experimental film/digital poetry engages the topics of race, indigeneity, gender, sexuality, nationalism, and borders. I am interested in creating work that speaks back to the archive- a western concept of legitimate knowledge and something constructed from the destruction of many Native peoples teachings. In an attempt to disrupt the normalization of settler colonialism I write
about the experiences and stories that exist outside of the imaginary of the settler such as the reality that urban and Native people in diaspora exist. My work refuses to forget the circumstances that brought us to the ahistorical settler present that treats the past is a blank slate to be rewritten and retold to benefit the settler. I want to awaken the history that lives in the bodies of the readers, audience members and patrons who experience my work. I write about silence as a space that can be explored for what it tells us about our history and our future. In my work time is non-linear and while I may write about the past it happens now as we experience poetry and the memory it invokes in us. Digital poetry has been the main medium for constructing the feeling of “place” through soundscape, poetry, photography and historical footage. The connection to land as an indigenous person is at the center of work and as a person in diaspora from the land of my peoples I am interested in constructing affective art that disrupts and imagines “place” as moving with us, something we can return to in memory and through poetry.
Lastly, performance art is a way of collapsing time. On stage I am past, present and future. My gender non-conforming two spirit Purepécha flesh is intended to disrupt time. I become a speaking spector to the settler who believes that Native people no longer exist and to indigenous people I embody the body of my ancestors through movement and stillness. I use my flesh to raise questions either by reciting poetry or by letting my digital poems play in the background while I repeat the motion of making tortillas- a movement that invokes memory and can create the feeling of “place” for other indigenous people who grew up kneading corn as ritual and sustenance.
fabian romero (Purepécha) is a two-spirit poet, filmmaker, artist and P.h.D. student in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. fabian’s academic and artistic interests integrate settler colonialism, performance, Latin American, race and gender studies with storytelling and poetry. Public Scholarship and Chicana studies also inform their work. Their work centers Purépecha people from Michoacán, Mexico to Seattle, Washington and beyond.